I own a pet sitting business and now have 4 dogs of my own and it is very interesting to watch dog pack dynamics play out where they are multiple animals.
My four dogs have very different personalities, either by inheritance or upbringing I’m not totally sure. Well, I should say three because Rose is only 9 weeks old so she’s just blending into the pack. Contrary to what some people think, the loudest or bossiest is often not the highest ranking dog.
My neutered male mini Aussie will be 7 this summer and was raised in a kennel environment until I adopted him at 2 years old. My Izzy has just turned 3 and was raised from a puppy at my house, as was Fancy who is 2. All three are house dogs. Rose, from Fancy’s litter, is the baby.
Even though Ike is neutered, he definitely has his harem. He is the benevolent leader of my pack. To an outsider observing, I’d predict you would guess that Izzy is high rank since no one questions her when she goes for a toy or raises her lip when one of the other dogs goes near her treat or food bowl.
How do I know Ike is top gun? The tell tale signs are in our every day routine. Each morning, my dogs are let out to potty as soon as I get up. Ike quickly comes back to the door to come in, knowing the next thing on the agenda is breakfast. However, he’s not settled until the girls are back inside as well. Anytime, his pack is separated he spins and barks, his signal to me that I need to gather everyone together. He is never relaxed until all are safe and accounted for.
When we have playtime outside, and the dogs do their chase and run, Fancy and Rose roll over telling Ike he’s the man. Again, Izzy has her frisbee in her mouth almost always as she runs around and no one challenges her for it. However, were I to toss the frisbee, it would belong to Ike..no questions asked. Izzy would not roll over but she would lower her body in a submissive pose telling me she does understand.
Ike is also always the one to alert first when there’s someone uninvited nearby and expects his girls to follow suit. If they don’t, he circles once again to get everyone involved in the foray. When I quiet him, the girls know the party’s over.
Ike can quietly rule the roost…until I come home!